Canadians are gradually losing more freedoms under Justin Trudeau’s Prime Ministership as he urges cops to visit the homes of people who post to social media in support of the Freedom Convoy protests.
With the protest in Ottawa now in its third week, Trudeau’s approach to dealing with the peaceful campaigners who have blocked roads and international border bridges has shifted up a gear.
On Wednesday afternoon, cops issued flyers to those in ‘no-go areas’, ordering them to leave the area immediately or face fines, vehicle seizures or even arrest.
But protesters saw a glimpse of hope this week as Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford seemed to show a sudden change of heart, announcing that the vaccine requirements and indoor capacity limits will end for the city as from March 1st.
My friends, like all of you, I have waited a long time for this news.
Effective March 1st, we intend to eliminate capacity limits in all indoor public settings and lift proof of vaccination requirements for all settings.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible. pic.twitter.com/5YdaapBZhy
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 14, 2022
Ford later Tweeted: “This period has been one of the most divisive times in history but I can take comfort in knowing there is so much that continues to unite us”. He then urged the public to “work together as friends, neighbors, and as Ontarians”.
Despite this progress, protesters have held their positions in the city, with some even spotted relaxing in hot tubs near Parliament. It were these scenes which reportedly spurred Trudeau into doubling down on action against those who engage with or support the rallies – perhaps inadvertently proving the protesters right in their decision not to abandon their campaign just yet.
Draconian measures have now escalated to further extremes, with cops harassing Canadians in their homes for writing supportive posts about the Freedom Convoy on social media.
In a video posted on Facebook, an Ontario Provincial Police officer is seen standing on the porch of Nadine Ellis-Maffei, a mom-of-three who had posted on the Freedom Convoy’s Facebook page in support of the protests.
In the post, Nadine suggested she would like to join the protest in Ottawa, but told the Toronto Sun she had not attended.
In the video, a female officer hands Nadine a set of pamphlets which she says are “just information about peaceful protests, that’s all it is”.
Seemingly astounded, Nadine asks the officer “Ok, so you decided to come to my personal residence to give me information about peaceful protest?”, to which the officer responds “yes”.
Nadine goes on to ask whether the Ottawa police monitor people’s Facebook pages to see what they’re doing, to which the cop says “because of the protests happening province wide, yes we have been monitoring the protests”.
Speaking to the Toronto Sun, the distraught mom likened the ordeal to “thought police and Big Brother” from Orwell’s 1984.
To add insult to injury, an Ontario political staffer who was Solicitor General Sylvia Jones’ director of communications was reportedly “forced out of her job” after computer hackers discovered she had donated $100 to the Freedom Convoy.
Ontario Premier Ford’s media relations spokesman said:
“‘Ms. [Marion] Isabeau-Ringuette no longer works for the Ontario government.
‘We’re not commenting any further as this is a staffing matter.”
If the clocks begin ‘”striking thirteen” soon in Canada, you’d be forgiven for not being all that surprised.